The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999

Book Reviews

sions clarified or enhanced the meaning of a particular statement. A short bio-
graphical sketch and artist's depiction of each interviewee introduce their
respective selections in the volume.
While Torres's minimal editing of the interview transcripts enables his sub-
jects to speak for themselves, it also allows for erroneous statements. He recog-
nizes this limitation and in the book's introduction even warns readers that "the
subjects in this collection are not presented as paragons of factual interpretation
or as representing some ultimate historical truth" (p. 5). Thus, this work's pri-
mary contribution is not its historical analysis, but the record of oral testimony it
provides for posterity.
Loyola Marymount University Timothy M. Matovina
Pursuing Power: Latinos and the Political System. Edited by F. Chris Garcia. (Notre
Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1997. Pp. xiii+478. Preface, intro-
duction, essays. ISBN 0-268-01313-6. $25.00, paper).
Technically a revision of the editor's 1988 work, in fact virtually all of the arti-
cles in this book were written since then, a number of them specifically for this
anthology, which hangs together better than most. Pursuing Power provides
insights into most aspects of the issue (slighting only the roles of religion and
the media).
Several articles draw on the monumental Latino National Political Survey.
John Garcia documents the significance of low household income, education
levels, and median age in low voting rates, while noting that Latino age levels are
rising and constitute just one of the factors leading to higher naturalization
rates. Rodolfo de la Garza and Louis DeSipio concur, writing that, although as
recently as 1980 Mexicans were not among the top ten in rates of naturalization,
they now rank third. De la Garza and DeSipio also show the limitations of as well
as the necessity for the Voting Rights Act, and suggest temporary implementa-
tion of voting rights for noncitizens without, however, acknowledging the resis-
tance such a controversial departure would likely elicit.
As for measures to increase political activism, in the very next article Benjamin
Marquez profiles the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), showing that it has suc-
cessfully organized poor Mexican Americans throughout much of Texas. At the
same time, he questions the IAF's ability to change the distribution of economic
power. It would have been interesting to see that yardstick applied to some of
the other topics and, conversely, to see the IAF considered in the other articles.
For example, de la Garza and James Jennings make salient points about Latino-
black political relations that could have benefitted from an examination of the
IAF coalition in Houston.
F. Chris Garcia, DeSipio, and Ronald Schmidt Sr. provide useful overviews of
controversial political topics: affirmative action, immigration, and language poli-
cies, respectively. Maria Torres and Dario Moreno profile Cuban demographics
and political patterns, while Mauricio Vigil presents a lucid, thorough summary
of Hispanos in Congress. As for women, Mary Pardo profiles some Los Angeles

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101219/. Accessed October 24, 2014.